ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Juan Ciscomani on Crime

Republican Juan Ciscomani is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29.  We asked him some questions on crime policy.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

Yes, private prisons are a cost-effective way to deal with the need for prison capacity.

Should we spend more on program that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Prisoners should be required to work or study while in prison in order to prepare them for gainful employment when they are released to reduce recidivism.

Should we look at alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders?

Depending upon the offense, there are some for which alternatives could be viable.

Should the state spend more on programs and facilities for at-risk youth?

I believe we should invest Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Pat Kilburn on Crime

Republican Pat Kilburn is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29.  We asked him some questions on crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

No, I think that we should use contract prisons and for non-violent offenders, we should consider options like residing in barracks type environment.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

Contract prisons are one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods to house criminals.

Should we spend more on program that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Yes I believe that by providing them with Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Crime

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

Incarceration is an important part of the judicial system but I would like to see as much money funneled into prevention and rehabilitation as possible. We keep filling up our prisons and building more. Take people who are addicted to meth, that is a medical problem, that’s not just a crime and it should be treated as such. It should be treated with both the disciplinary approach and people need to be actively rehabilitated and that is not happening. So I would say no to increasing funding to prisons unless they are also increasing funding for prevention and rehabilitation first.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

I don’t want to make a decision without all of the information in front of me which is what I think any responsible legislaturer should do and I’ll certainly look into that. But as a response I think that should be in control of the state.

Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Absolutely. That goes back to Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Crime

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

You know, I’m not sure whether we should or not. I’d have to look at it more closely. I am very troubled that in a lot of ways I think weve lost the emphesis on correction in our correction system and its much more focused on punishment. Now let’s not forget, we’re supposed to be rehabilitating people who have made mistakes. This is, of course, not murderers or rapists–some people need to be locked up for good. But in general, we’re supposed to rehabilitating people so they can reenter society and be productive citizens. We don’t have that. A lot of people get out of prison and they go right back to prison within a short amount of time. So I think by and large our prison sysetm is failing. And we’re spending huge amounts of money on this. This is over a billion dollars a year on the state budget. It’s a lot of money.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

Absolutely not. I do not support private prisons. I think putting a profit motive on locking people up is a very dangerous to our civil liberties and it’s a bad idea all around.

Should we spend more on program that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Absolutely. Again the focus has to be on Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Taxes

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

No, I think that we need that $250 million. At this point we can’t really afford to lose any of it. The state depends on these three legs, state income tax, stat sales tax and state property tax. I don’t think we can afford to lose it and we also can’t afford to continue implementing the taxes that were put into effect in 2005-2006.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. I think it needs to be approved on an as-needed basis and under very specific circumstances but in a deficit economy, like we have we really need to address advancing public education and that’s one of the ways to do it.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

In general, I’m pragmatic. I understand that we have a fee for service, we tax people for services. And right now the services we provide as a state like health care is not sufficient, education is not sufficient. And in many of these areas like transportation we’re way behind. We need to catch up. We need to pay attention to these things and we need to spend in a very targeted manner on the issues that are really important.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Taxes

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions on tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

I support doing what was already agreed. When that property tax cut was put in place, the state had a lot more money. But there was an agreement to let it sunset and that revenue is needed. I’m a homeowner, I have to pay that property tax just like everyone else does. We neeed that money especially for education, it’s critical. I support sticking with the agreement that was made when that tax cut went into place. At some point in the futrure, if economic conditions make it possible, we can look at it again but I think with the budget crisis facing the state right now, it would be basically irresponsible to go back on the agreement that was made.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes I do. When needed especially. It would be nice to be able to pay cash up front for everything but that’s just not the economic reality that we’re dealing with right now. I think bonding for school projects just makes sence, especially in this economic climate.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

Well I think on education, it’s clear that I’m the strongest candidate, that’s why I got the endorsement of the teachers and the schools of the Arizona Education Association. I understand education closely and I care deaply about it with my daughter in public schools here in Tucson in TUSD.

On general economic issues I think its pretty clear I’m very much in touch with the voters in District 29. My wife and I don’t make a lot of money. I understand how it is and how difficult It can be to just pay your bills every month. We’ve got big problems right now. To me, the economy is the big issue in this election. I balance a budget at home I’ll be able to help balance a budget in the state House.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Juan Ciscomani on Taxes

Republican Juan Ciscomani is running for House of Representatives in LD29.  We asked him some questions on tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

Although ideal, it is not realistic to repeal the property tax given our current budget deficit.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes, if the construction is needed, if it is cost-effective to build now and if the life of the facility is longer than the life of the bonded indebtedness.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

Times are difficult for people right now. The government should do what families have to do – cut expenses in order to live within their means.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Pat Kilburn on Taxes

Republican Pat Kilburn is running for House of Representatives in LD29.  We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

Yes, with our economy in the shape it is in people and businesses don’t need to be taxed more

Since it will cost the state $250 million, what should the state cut to make up for the lost revenue?

None, if we bring in more businesses the revenue will increase

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

No, especially with some schools closing with lower enrollment.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

I believe that by reducing the business equipment property tax we will bring in new companies and revenue will increase.

Legislative District 29: Elections Happen

With 97 percent of the precinct votes and 4,600 early ballots counted, only 3,000 provisional ballots and roughly 10,000 late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots remain. It looks like the surprises are over for Legislative District 29.

The big surprises last night in LD29 included Patricia Puig and Eric Carbajal Bustamante practically tying for the fourth slot of this Seven-Way Super-Slam, while Ephriam Cruz came in sixth place, ahead of only Gil Guerra.

Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson seem to have locked down seats in Legislative District 29, while Rep. Tom Prezelski appears to be on his way out.

Although more than 30,000 registered Democrats live in LD29, voter turnout is at about 24 percent, with roughly 7,400 ballots having been counted so far.

Matt Heinz: 25.4 percent

Daniel Patterson: 17.6 percent

Tom Prezelski: 15.4 percent

Eric Carbajal Bustamante: 12.3 percent

Patricia Puig: 12.3 percent

Ephraim Cruz: 9.9 percent

Gil Guerra 6.9 percent

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Education

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about education policy.

Should the AIMS test remain a requirement for high-school graduation?

No. I listen to the teachers and the teachers don’t support it. I don’t think it’s worked very well and in general I don’t support federal or state level micromanagement of local school districts and that’s what the aims test is.

Do you favor any changes for the AIMS test or would you do away with it completely?

I’d like to sit down with the education community and teachers and see what they think but at least with the current AIMS test I don’t think it’s worth keeping.

Do you support state-funded vouchers for private or religious schools?

No. If people want to send their kid to a private or religious school that’s fine, but I think they should pay for it. I support strong funding for public schools and vouchers Continue reading

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